Monday, September 26, 2011

Green Beans For Me!

Oh, how I lamented the loss of half of my bean crop.  Mr. Bunny (Groundhog ... whatever) ate HALF of my beans.  Nipped them right at ground level, ate a couple of leaves, and left the rest of the plant to die on the poles.  Mr. Bunny got dispatched to the Police Academy (thanks to Animal Control) and the rest of my bean crop was safe.

And boy, as a memorial to their eaten brothers, have these guys gone into overproduction.  We're up to our eyebrows in beans.  But then, I always overplant because I expect Mr. Bunny's relatives to eat at least some of them.

It's been very difficult to pick the bean crop.  Hurricane Irene didn't bring any rain our way, but we sure got a LOT of wind and it blew over not only the bean poles, but the tomato cages, too.  Everything's a mish-mash and it's hard to get in and find the beans.  But Friday we picked half a grocery bag of them because there's no way we could eat them all now.  And thus began the job of freezing them.

Since it's been so hard to pick the beans (there's a fence to contend with, plus we're trying to grow new grass on the other side of it), a lot of them are far too big and tough to eat.  No problem!  We've had problems getting seeds for the variety of beans we prefer. And, in fact, most of this year's crop was from seeds I collected two and three years ago.  They came up just like clockwork.  The pile of beans on the right are just some of the ones I'm drying for next year's seed crop.

After blanching, they went into the ice bath (which in this case happens to be the top of my Tupperware cake tote).
By the time we'd sorted through the beans, we got six bags to freeze.  I estimate we'll have at least that much to do today, too.

Yeah, we could buy a bag of frozen beans for $1.99 that would probably last us for 2-3 meals, but this is so much more satisfying.  I guess only another gardener would understand.

What have you frozen or canned from your veggie garden this year?
By the way, today I'm guest blogging on my friend Dru-Ann Love's blog, Dru's Book Musings about my new cookbook, RECIPES TO DIE FOR. I hope you'll come by to see what Katie Bonner has to say about the book.